KC-46A tanker aircraft design finalised
The final design elements of the KC-46A tanker aircraft in development for the US military has been finalised by the US Air Force and Boeing, clearing the way for production and testing of the aircraft to begin.
The tanker’s Weapon System Critical Design Review was conducted in July, bringing to an end months of component and subsystem reviews, and confirming that the design embodies and can meet US Air Force requirements.
US Air Force Maj. Gen. John Thompson, air force program executive officer for tankers, said: ‘I'm pleased to report that the design of the KC-46A tanker has been locked down. This is great news for the nation’s warfighters. The joint government and Boeing team stayed focused on the design review objectives, and truly delivered.’
Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president and KC-46 program manager, added: ‘The KC-46A's design is all about giving the warfighter an edge. The aircraft’s powerful, multi-role capabilities and high reliability will mean greater effectiveness and availability to meet more mission requirements.’
Boeing has already begun assembly of the wing and refuelling boom for the aircraft. Boeing expects to deliver 179 KC-46 aircraft to the air force if all options under the current contract are exercised. The tankers will replace the existing KC-135 Stratotankers.
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